‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ aims to undo damage, communal divisions by RSS, BJP: Rahul Gandhi

“The institutional framework of the country has been captured by the right-wing and the BJP is attempting to force a particular vision on the country,” he said on the second day of the padayatra

Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference at Puliyoorkuruchi in Kanyakumari district
Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference at Puliyoorkuruchi in Kanyakumari district
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Ashlin Mathew

The primary objective of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ is to undo the damage and communal divisions created by the BJP and the RSS in the country rather than any political gain for the party, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi emphasised on the second day of the cross-country march.

Addressing a press conference at Puliyoorkuruchi in Kanyakumari district, he said the idea behind the padayatra was to connect with the people of India.

People have to understand, the Wayanad MP underscored, that India has changed; the institutional framework of the country has been captured by the right-wing and the BJP is attempting to force a particular vision on the country.

“Earlier, we used to fight a political party. Now, the fight is not between two political parties but between the structure of the Indian State and the Opposition. Everybody understands this is not an easy fight. It is difficult and the media is also not with us,” he pointed out.

On the BJP’s criticism of the yatra, Gandhi said that the RSS and BJP were welcome to have their own opinion, but through the yatra, the Congress is attempting to undo the damage done by the BJP in the last eight years.

“They have divided the country,” he said.

The former Congress president said many people don't want to get trapped in the fight with BJP. “It easier to make peace, fold hands before them and your life will be easier. But that is not my training. My training is to fight for a certain idea and notion of this country. This is a battle between two ideas,” he added.

When asked to comment about certain leaders who have left the grand old party, Rahul Gandhi said they were under pressure. “The BJP has better means to pressurise them than I do, but, seriously the fight is not with the political party. Now they have the agencies that do their work and they have placed their people everywhere. They use the Income Tax Department, CBI and the ED and you know how they do it,” he asserted.

He said bringing the Opposition together and the yatra are two separate things, adding that the two coming together would be a g


It is the responsibility of all the Opposition parties to come together, he maintained, and everybody has a role in. It is not about the Congress party alone, he said.

"Only two-three business houses are controlling the country while price rise and unemployment are peaking; but the country's issues are being diverted elsewhere," said Gandhi.

On the question of him not wanting to head the Congress even while he was leading the padayatra, he pointed out that he was only participating in it.

“Where is the contradiction? To put it in perspective, the Congress party has decided to undertake a padayatra across the country and as a member of the Congress Party and as a person who agrees with ideology of the party, I am participating in the yatra,” he reiterated.

The election for the party’s president will take place and he has no confusion about his role, Gandhi said.

“I’ve made my decision; I’m very clear and I’ll reply when Congress president election takes place. It will become very clear whether I become president or not when the party election takes place,” he asserted.

Rahul Gandhi had resigned as Congress president in 2019, taking responsibility for the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections which saw Narendra Modi getting re-elected as Prime Minister.

Election for the post of Congress Party president will be held on October 17 and the counting of votes is scheduled for October 19. The nominations for the post will be from September 24 to 30. The Congress had earlier said it would have a new president by September 21, but the deadline was extended by a month.

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